Radiologic Technology, or Rad Tech as it is fondly known, is a vital part of health care. National Radiologic Technology Week is a time to celebrate radiologic technologists across the nation. Radiology technologists perform the imaging procedures to help your doctor see inside your body.
The first X-ray was taken by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, a German physicist, on November 8th, 1895. X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation that has enough energy to take pictures of the inside of your body. Bones absorb the most X-ray energy, so they show up as white shapes in an X-ray, while other body parts have varying levels of gray shades.
Roentgen received the Nobel Prize in physics, and his discovery made an enormous difference in healthcare. Before X-rays, doctors had to rely on an external exam and their best guesses about what was going on inside a patient’s body.
X-rays allow your doctor and the radiologic technologists working with your doctor to look inside your body painlessly. X-rays are available at Fayetteville Diagnostic Clinic, MANA Family Medicine, and MANA Urgent Care.
Other kinds of imaging
Ultrasound was first used medically in 1956.This type of imaging uses sound waves. Ultrasound is now used to check on babies during pregnancy and as a diagnostic tool.
The first CT scan took place in 1971, and the first MRI in 1977. CT scans, or computed tomography, send a narrow beam of X-rays around the body, creating thousands of images with more information than an ordinary X-ray. MANA offers low-radiation CT scans. MRIs, or magnetic resonance imaging, uses magnetic energy and radio waves to produce images. MANA offers 3-Tesla MRIs, a more powerful kind. MANA Imaging is accredited by the American College of Radiology. Both CT scans and MRIs provide essential information for diagnosis and treatment of many conditions and can prevent unnecessary surgeries.
In the 1970’s and 1980’s mammography became the standard screening to find breast cancer before there were any symptoms. The mammogram uses X-rays to take pictures of the inside of the breast, and radiologists examine the images to find cancers that show up white against the gray tissue in the image. By 2009, the American Cancer Society determined deaths due to breast cancer were down 30% due to screening mammograms.
In 2004, The Breast Center, A MANA Clinic, installed one of the first dedicated Breast MRI machines that took even more detailed pictures of the inside of the breast. Breast MRI is used to screen women who are at high risk for breast cancer and as a diagnostic tool to help pinpoint the exact area to be treated.
In addition, doctors now use automated breast ultrasound in addition to mammography to screen for breast cancer in women with dense breast tissue.
A relatively new procedure, lung cancer CT screening is used to detect early lung cancer, similar to how a mammogram finds breast cancer. Lung cancer screening CT can find a cancer before there are any symptoms and is improving survival rates. Other kinds of imaging include bone density. Bone density is a painless procedure to screen for osteoporosis.
Our Radiology Techs
Radiology techs work with the radiologists at MANA Imaging and the breast imaging doctors at The Breast Center. They prepare patients for the imaging procedure including education on what to expect before and during the exam, operate the imaging machine and computers, and produce images. The images are used by doctors to screen for disease and to diagnose illnesses or injuries.
Radiologic technologists complete a two-year associate degree or four-year bachelor degree program in radiologic science. They gain valuable experience and knowledge to specialize in specific imaging modalities like MRI, sonography (ultrasound), or mammography. If you are interested in a career in radiology technology, MANA offers the Murray T. Harris Scholarship to students who have been accepted into an allied healthcare program.
During National Radiologic Technology Week, MANA thanks all of our amazing radiologic technologists! Not only do our radiology techs produce high quality images, they help our patients feel comfortable and informed during the procedure. MANA Imaging and The Breast Center are available to all MANA doctors and patients as well as doctors and patients outside of the MANA network.